Is It Cool To Lie (Just A Little) On Your Dating Profile?
The Dating Nerd is a shadowy figure whose whereabouts and identifying details remain unknown. What we do know is that he is really, really good at dating. He’s been on more dates than you can shake a lengthy bar tab at, and he’s here to help the average guy step his dating game up a notch — or several.
We all know that it’s super tempting to lie on your online dating profile. Especially when you see a picture of a particularly appealing woman and you manage to convince yourself that she’s your one remaining shot at true love. (Or the best sex of your life, or the best sex of that day.) It’s so easy; you just click on the little box and call yourself athletic, or nudge your height up to six feet, or adjust your income from a high five figures to a low six. Just like that, you’re less of a schlub. At least according to your profile, you’re a spectacular specimen, worthy of adoration by every eligible woman on earth.
Besides being simple, this is a natural response to how arbitrary and cruel the dating game can be. It really sucks that being a tiny bit taller or having a slightly lower body fat percentage can make the difference between attaining a relationship or not. Moreover, we all want to be judged based on the intricacies of our character, not our most obvious, impersonal properties. Unfortunately, though, people are shallow, and women are people. It’s understandable to get bent out of shape about that, and to want to game the system somehow.
Nevertheless, I really, really don’t recommend being deceptive when you’re going on online dating sites or apps. It usually won’t work, and even in the rare case when it does work, I don’t think it’s good. Let me explain.
So, usually, men are lying on their dating profile so they can get their foot in the door. They just want to stack the odds that their Tinderella of the moment will meet up with them. Once they’re actually on the date itself, they figure, even if the woman notices that they’re not as tall as they claimed, at least they got their foot in the door. Maybe, in the dim light of a fancy wine bar, they can work their magic, despite being found out, and charm their way into the relevant panties.
And this might happen now and again. But the vast majority of the time, it won’t. Listen. If you lie to a woman to get a first date with her, and she notices what’s going on, it’s not like you’re going to have a normal time after that. She’s going to immediately see you as a douchebag and a liar, and justifiably so.
And you won’t have a chance to apply that finely-polished charm, because she won’t believe anything you say. Your flirty compliments won’t come off as genuine; they’ll simply be perceived as simple-minded flattery. All of those well-spun anecdotes about your life that you tend to recycle for first dates will be seen as lies, no matter how true they are. Sure, you got her to leave her house to come see an imaginary version of yourself—good job—but once she gets there, she’s going to subject you to an unpleasant scrutiny.
Well, what if you manage to get away with the lie? What if you lie about something like income, or education, that can actually be concealed for real, perhaps for a long time? What if, unlike most men, you’re a dark and mysterious master of falsehood, who can really pull it off?
Well, I still completely disagree with that decision, for both moral and practical reasons. Let’s start with the moral side of it.
Obviously, lying to a woman to secure her attraction, or at least a shot at grabbing her boobs, is a lousy thing to do. In fact, it’s evil. I shouldn’t even have to write this down. This is obvious. But it’s a moral truth that’s conveniently ignored, every day, by many men—even by good men, or at least men who aren’t 100% awful sociopaths who torture kittens in their spare time. Because, really, you don’t have to be a villain to lie to women to get laid. You just have to ignore your higher brain in favor of your lower urges. You just have to let horniness overpower morality.
Listen. Your sex drive can be a hell of a drug. Almost everyone can relate to that. When we’re really lonely, our mating drives kick into high gear, and persuade us to attempt all sorts of harebrained schemes to get a little nugget of sexual attention. Like texting an ex who obviously hates you so much she wouldn’t touch your dick for a million dollars. Or asking out a girl at the gym wearing headphones who doesn’t want to speak to anyone for any reason, and especially not you. Or lying on your dating profile.
However, being a responsible man is all about rising above your primitive urges and being a reasonable human. Occasionally, when you’re living the single life, you’re going to hear those inner voices telling you to be dishonest to get a woman into bed with you. I sympathize. But a big part of growing up is ignoring such desires.
And finally, as previously mentioned, there’s a practical side to this as well. Which is the fact that every time you lie to someone, it’s bad for your soul, because you’re encouraging the wrong parts of your character.
Ultimately, you should want to have integrity. And what integrity means is having a wholeness of character, which is to say that when you interact with people, you present a more-or-less accurate version of your inner life. Who you are inside connects authentically who you are outside. This leads to confidence, sincerity, and boldness, which are all attractive characteristics, and also just generally helpful for being a person in the world.
It’s true, maybe, that in the short term, lying to someone to achieve romance could be advantageous. But in the long term, in general, the more you lie to please other people, the more you’re locked inside yourself. To the people around you, you’re a charismatic person with an entertaining backstory that they don’t know is fabricated. To yourself, however, you’re a shell of a person, hiding an inner life that you feel is pathetic behind an ever-shifting facade. That’s not a good way to be, and you should steer yourself away from that as soon as possible, and towards being a forthright and surefooted person.
You can begin that process by not lying on your online dating profile.